Faith and Criticism with Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D.
Not many bands can say their career has lasted for more than a decade. For P.O.D, theirs has spanned more than 25 years. They have sold more than 12 million records worldwide, have three Grammy nominations and their music has been featured in many major motion picture soundtracks. For P.O.D. vocalist, Sonny Sandoval, he has been there from the start. We interviewed Sandoval in 2006 and talked about his faith and speaking the truth.
Sandoval opens up about if P.O.D has ever been hassled for their faith by other bands and how he responds to criticism.
“Never, not once. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love the guys in P.O.D. We’re just four guys from the neighborhood. I think they’re more afraid of us cuz their experiences with Christianity have turned them off. But don’t compare me to that; I’m Sonny from San Diego. I’ll cook for you; I’ll barbeque. You can hang out with my friends, my family; just be real with me. I don’t care; I’ll meet you on a human level, then, when the time is right, I’m gonna share. But I’m not gonna beat anyone over the head…(on being criticized) Everybody goes through that; you don’t have to be in a rock band. We got all the same stuff before we were in the eye of the mainstream. Now people love or hate us more than they ever did. I don’t worry about it. If you wanna get to know me, my door is open.”
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12: 1-3
Sandoval shares his thoughts about speaking the truth and being known for your faith and beliefs.
“We used to have such a punk rock attitude and not care what people thought. Now we’re careful not to hurt people. I’d rather help people get through things than condemn them. I believe in Jesus, but I find that I’m totally different than some people who call themselves Christians. It’s like they’ve left planet Earth, man. They’re on hold land and nobody’s invited. To me, there’s no ‘us against them.’ Sometimes I’d like to wipe the slate clean and paint a new picture. I told one of my counselors, ‘Sometimes I just want to grab my wife and kids, crawl and under the covers and wait for the Second Coming.’ He said, ‘There’s still a lot of people out there that need to know the truth.’…P.O.D. is known for their beliefs, their faith. In that case, people put you on trial. It’s weird; you tell people, ‘I’m a sinner. I’m forgiven; I believe in Jesus who forgave me.’ You need a Savior, cuz you’ve been wrong all your life and they expect you not to make mistakes anymore. It’s like, wait a minute that’s why I am a Christian, because I do make mistakes and I need direction.”
Reach out. Each of us has people all around us that need to hear about the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Rather than judge or criticize their lifestyle, ask God to show you how He sees them. Sometimes it can even be helpful to remember what our life was like before Christ so that we can reach out to others. Pray about inviting someone to an outreach event or having coffee with a friend to hear what they believe spiritually. Many churches offer classes or workshops on how to share your faith and these can offer practical ways and ideas to reach out.
Speak truth. It can be difficult to speak the truth. Sometimes we fear that we will be made fun, other times there might even be a consequence if we speak the truth. If you are going through a difficult situation and trying to figure out how you can speak the truth, consider asking a friend, small group leader, or pastor for their wisdom. Often an outsider, can offer perspective and might even have gone through something similar. Pray and ask God to show you His truth for the situation and what He wants you to say.
Be known. Take time this week to think about what you want to be known for. We each have the opportunity to leave a legacy and we must decide what that legacy will be. Our character, actions and decisions are all a part of what we are known for. Gather a small group of friends and have everyone share what they want to be known for. Ask each other to hold each other accountable to working towards those goals. It can even be fun to write a letter to yourself and have someone in the group send the letters out later in the year as a reminder.
To read our entire interview with Sonny Sandoval, click here.
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